Jewish World Review Oct. 15, 2004 / 30 Tishrei, 5765
PetsCell: Wassup dog?
Apparently dog parks and dog bakeries are not enough to keep man's best
friend happy. Now cell phones are going to the dogs as well.
A company called PetsCell has created a cell phone you can clip to your dog
or cat's collar. One small question, please: Exactly what are we supposed
to say to the pet once we call?
"Can you hear me now?" or "Wassup dawg?"
Even your more gifted and talented cats and dogs, like Garfield and Snoopy,
can't talk on a phone. Oh sure, they can talk in all capital letters in
little black-and-white balloons, but they lack can't do mobiles.
Besides, you call a cat and you and I both know what a cat is going to do.
Ignore you. Worse yet, since the cat knows the cell phone doesn't have a
video phone feature, your feline friend might even mock you for calling by
making a little blah, blah, blah motion with the front paw.
For argument's sake, assume you have an unusual cat that twice a year
acknowledges your lowly existence. You could call and say, "Hello, Kitty, "
but if you interrupted a nap or a romp with a toy mouse, the cat is going
to get in a snit.
There's no point trying to talk to a cat with an attitude. Cats don't give
second chances. At best you could keep calling, begging for forgiveness and
asking the cat not seek revenge by shredding the sofa, the curtains and the
quilt your grandmother made.
Dogs, on the other hand, might fare better with cell phones. A dog would be
glad to hear from you. Yes, a dog hearing the master's voice would begin
barking wildly, racing through the house, and becoming extremely excited in
general. Which leads us to ask, how excited do you want your dog when you
are away from home?
Chewing leather shoes excited? Scratching-at-the-back-door excited? Jumping
over the kitchen table because he hears your voice but cannot lick your
Even if your dog would calm down enough to listen to your call, what
relevant matters would you discuss? "I think I left the coffee maker
plugged in. Can you check it for me?"
"I'm going to be a little late tonight, there's steak in the 'fridge and
Benji is on the Family Channel at 8."
There is a dog that could have put a cell phone to good use Lassie. If
Lassie had owned a PetsCell, and known a little Morse Code, she could have
barked out the global satellite position of the ravine, deserted well and
drainage ditch Timmy fell into each week, instead of running back and forth
to the house, trying to get addled adults to quit yelling, "What is it,
girl? What is it?"
Here's the real flaw of the PetsCell: It undermines the basic nature of the
The reason we love our pets is that they listen. With cocked heads,
interested eyes and wagging tails, they patiently, quietly listen.
You talk to your spouse, and your spouse responds with suggestions. Your
talk to your friends, and they offer input. Your relatives share opinions,
and your co-workers know someone to whom that same thing happened only
six times worse.
Your pet? Your pet lets you talk and talk and never talks back. Why would
you want to torment a faithful friend who knows the value of silence with a
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© 2004, Lori Borgman
JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Pass the Faith, Please" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.